How to Pee Like A Grownup (Because You May Be Doing It Wrong)

October 26, 2018

Who knew there was so much science to peeing?

Peeing seems like it should be the simplest thing in the world — and back at the dawn of time, it probably was.

You  never see cave drawings depicting too-frequent peeing or malodorous urine. But pee issues are real, whether it’s your latest urinary tract infection (UTI) or feeling the need to pee all the time.

For starters, let’s all get familiar with the things we should not be doing. Don’t use “natural remedies” like garlic to fight off yeast infections (it doesn’t work) or use perfumed products on your vag to “freshen up” (bad idea). (And if you’re concerned about any peeing issues, consult with your medical provider.) Dr. Alyssa Dweck, a full-time New York OB/GYN who has co-authored three books about women’s sexual health, gave us the low-down about what else we might be doing wrong down low.

Wipe from front to back

One of the most basic pee rules is about wiping. “Always wipe from front to back (from urethra where you urinate from) towards the rectum (where you move your bowels from) after urination and bowel movements,” says Dweck. “This can help prevent bacteria that heavily colonize the rectum from contaminating the urethra and bladder.” 

Pee after sex

It’s not just an old-wives tale. Dweck advises women to “Urinate before and after sexual relations to help lower the risk of UTIs, especially if you are prone to UTI. This will naturally, mechanically flush bacteria from the urethra.” Peeing after sex will not prevent pregnancy, however. 

Stay hydrated

While we’ve all heard that we should be drinking eight, 8-ounce glasses of water per day, the color of your urine will actually tell you if you’re hydrating enough, says Dweck: “It should be clear and pale yellow.”

… And, about that color…

Dweck explains that very dark yellow urine can be a sign of dehydration. But, she adds, “Bloody urine, even lightly tinged, can signify infection or kidney stone. Malodorous urine can be a result of dietary intake (think asparagus!) or vitamin supplements. Very dark colored urine might suggest a liver issue. If your urine is persistently or recurrently an odd color, best to get a check-up.” 

Know your UTI

Urinary tract infections suck, so be alert for when you might have one. “The symptoms of a UTI include urinary frequency, urgency, and discomfort,” says Dweck. “If you think you have a UTI, seek a medical evaluation even if only by phone and consider checking urine testing including  urinalysis and urine culture and treat with antibiotics if indicated. Often times, your gyno will treat you based on symptoms over the phone.” 

Feeling the burn?

There are a lot of reasons you might be experiencing a burning sensation while peeing. Dweck advises that this can include cystitis, a kidney infection, a sexually transmitted infection such as gonorrhea or chlamydia, kidney stone, an external irritant (most notably fragrant or heavily chemical laden bath salts or body wash), or trauma (like an excessive biking or spin class). You can check in with your medical provider about all of these. 

Images via pexels.

Comment: Which one of the above peeing rules surprised you the most? 

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